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About the Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy 2013
The Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy provides a platform for exchange and networking among governments, business and civil society groups on the role that science and innovation policies should play in improving growth, sustainable development and the quality of life.
The 2013 Forum, to be held in Istanbul, Turkey on 22-23 October, will explore the current state of science and innovation, address the key challenges for policy today and explore good policy practices at the national level as well as steps that should be taken at the international level. It will gather panellists both from developed and emerging countries. The Forum is intended to be highly interactive; it will be based primarily on panel discussions, and will provide ample room for networking and interaction among participants.
The overarching theme of the 2013 Forum is “the future of science and innovation (S&I) policies”. The role of S&I has never before been seen as important as now, for the economy, society, the environment. As OECD countries are confronted with a lasting post-crisis downturn, as emerging economies are experiencing a slowdown, innovation is one of the expected engines of sustained growth, beyond all the macroeconomic imbalances. Innovation is being mobilised also for addressing social challenges like health or ageing, or environmental challenges like climate change: whereas price adjustments (e.g. a carbon tax) and appropriate resource allocation (e.g. social contribution) are needed to manage and alleviate some of these problems, innovation is expected to bring the most sustained, durable solutions. While expectations for the role of S&I has been growing, the conditions in which S&I operate have changed drastically. S&I is now a global activity, it is not the preserve of rich countries anymore, as emerging countries are taking an increasingly active participation by performing research and other types of innovative activities. Information Technology (IT) has been changing many aspects of the way S&I operate, by increasing the productivity or research, allowing to connect more closely business labs with customers, facilitating global cooperation in research, etc. Finally, the macroeconomic environment is having a significant impact on S&I. Business enterprise R&D has declined in OECD countries after the financial crisis of 2008 and it has not recovered yet its previous level; only thanks to government spending has total R&D recovered its pre-crisis level, but austerity budgets are now reaching on R&D expenditure as well and the perspectives are not positive in a number of OECD countries. Emerging countries have kept growing over the past years and their innovative activities have increased accordingly, but with the macroeconomic downturn now reaching them as well, the future of R&D might also become less certain.
The Global Forum will review these factors; it will discuss a number of longer term trends that have been affecting innovation policies in OECD and emerging countries; and it will take a forward looking perspective regarding coming policy transformations for S&I.
The objective of the GFKE will be to exchange on a number of key dimensions around these challenges, to identify issues and good policy practices across countries. All panels include a mix of OECD members and non members, with the view to assess the basic commonality of issues, interest and policy solutions for all types of countries.
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